How to Stop Notepad Opening Previous Files at Startup


Does Notepad surprise you with a trip down memory lane every time you start up? If you’re looking for a fresh slate instead you’re in the right place! In this article I’ll show you how to prevent Notepad from automatically opening previous files at startup.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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Steps to Stop Notepad Opening Previous Files at Startup

  1. Open Notepad on your Windows computer. By default, Notepad will open and display any previous open Notepad files that you didn’t close from your last session.
  2. Click the “Settings” icon at the top of the screen. The Settings screen is displayed.

  1. Click to expand “When Notepad Starts” into a menu.

  1. Click to select the radio button next to “Open a New Window.” Going forward Notepad will open a blank file when it’s initially launched, and it will no longer open files that were open at the end of your previous session.

Reasons to Stop Notepad Opening Previous Files at Startup

1. Privacy Concerns

Protecting privacy is paramount, especially on shared computers. Notepad, when reopening files, can unintentionally expose sensitive information. Someone might have been jotting down personal thoughts, financial details, or drafting a confidential message. If another user accesses the computer, these notes become visible immediately. Thus, there’s a risk that personal or private data might be seen by someone else. This exposure could lead to misunderstandings, misuse of information, or even security breaches. It’s essential to ensure that such delicate content remains confidential, and one way to ensure this is by preventing Notepad from displaying old files.

2. Efficiency

Computers are tools of efficiency, but loading unnecessary files can hamper their performance. When Notepad reopens numerous or large files at startup, it consumes system resources. This use of memory and processing power might slow down other applications or tasks a user wants to perform immediately after booting up. Additionally, it can be frustrating to wait for multiple files to load when they’re not needed, affecting the overall user experience. A streamlined and responsive system contributes to better productivity and smoother operations.

3. Work Interruption

Imagine working on several files and then, during the next startup, having them all reappear. It disrupts the workflow and can be overwhelming. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, a user might find themselves closing multiple unnecessary files. This can divert attention from pressing tasks and break the momentum built from a previous session. Additionally, it could cause users to accidentally close or modify the wrong file. For consistent and uninterrupted workflow, it’s crucial that only relevant files appear when launching Notepad.

4. Avoiding Confusion

A clear workspace is a clear mind. When old files continuously pop up on Notepad’s startup, it’s easy to get mixed up. Users might spend precious minutes figuring out which files are currently relevant and which aren’t. This confusion can lead to mistakes, such as editing the wrong file or overlooking an important document. Reducing such confusion means improving clarity and reducing the chances of errors.

5. Clean Workspace

A tidy digital workspace can boost productivity. If Notepad continuously reopens files, it can clutter the taskbar and desktop. This makes it harder for users to find and access other essential apps and documents. Keeping a clean workspace ensures that everything is in its place, making navigation quicker and more intuitive.

6. Routine Changes

Life and work routines change. Today’s essential file might become tomorrow’s old news. If someone completes a project or shifts their focus, they might not want reminders of past tasks. Having old files pop up can be a stark reminder of completed phases or outdated tasks. Keeping the digital workspace updated with only current tasks ensures alignment with evolving priorities.

7. Avoiding Distractions

Distractions hinder productivity. If Notepad opens unrelated files from previous sessions, it can divert attention from the current objective. Instead of diving straight into the day’s tasks, users might find themselves sidetracked by old notes or documents. To maintain a high level of focus and productivity, it’s essential to eliminate such potential distractions.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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